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Honest crabs, power to the hungry, nice mice and clever meerkats: News from the American Naturalist
Date:2/19/2009

d squirrels, that live side-by-side in the same habitat as meerkats, have not evolved this type of alarm call. So why would such calls evolve on one species and not the other when both live in the same area? Furrer and Manser suggest it has to do with social structure. Meerkats are highly social creatures. They coordinate their foraging activities as well as their escape plans. So knowing what predator is approaching helps in coordination. The ground squirrels, on the other hand, act largely independent of each other and may have less need for specified alarm calls.

Roman D. Furrer and Marta B. Manser, "The evolution of urgency-based and functionally referential alarm calls in ground-dwelling species," 173:March.


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Contact: Kevin Stacey
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